The Living Dead, by George A. Romero, Daniel Kraus

thereadingrachel's review against another edition

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This is a story of the zombie apocalypse, told from the beginning with the very first body to rise from the dead, to the uprising of thousands of others and zombies taking over the earth, and beyond, for a look at what life becomes after. I'll admit, I was a bit intimidated at first by the girth of this book, but I was instantly hooked, and remained that way through all 634 pages.

The book is very character driven and tells the stories of a group of humans across the globe, and what happens to each of them when the dead begin to rise and take over the earth. Their stories converge in the end and are brought together in the most compelling way.

One of the most interesting aspects of this book is its telling of parts of the story through the eyes of the zombies. It asks questions that aren't often addressed in the typical zombie trope. Why did the zombies come? What are they? Are they a curse, or are they a gift? Are they antihuman, or a necessary part of human evolution, created from our own hate and greed to show us the error of our ways?

This book is fast paced and gritty right from the start, and there is no shortage of gore, so if that is not your thing, steer clear! For me, it was fantastic! A must read for all zombie fans!

toomanygdbooks's review against another edition

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4.25/5 stars

Look, this a big fat zombie book and George Romero could write zombies. It’s good. It’s not perfect. But it was exactly the gory zombie book I was craving.

will_cherico's review against another edition

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dark emotional reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


biancarosesmith's review against another edition

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This book was quite timely set against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and I loved the concept of a zombie apocalyptic plague. It’s a chunker of a book and is set over 15 years, from the perspectives of many characters and different viewpoints of the situation as it unfolds.

I’m always honest with my reviews so here we go. This book was honestly a slog for me and I really struggled to finish it. I had to force myself.
I enjoyed it at the beginning and found it engaging but I lost my interest as I continued to read and had I not been reading it for a group read I may have DNFd it. Throughout the book there were parts I liked but overall I found it incredibly scattered with the sheer volume of characters and storylines present to the point where they felt confusing for me and although the stories tied back together at the end, it had lost its enjoyment for me well before then.

I didn’t find I connected to many of the characters nor the storylines and for me personally I think this was part of the issue. I feel the book also could have been shorter but I also respect Kraus had a difficult job coming in to finish Romero’s work and perhaps found it difficult to cull parts of it.

The writing itself wasn’t an issue. The way it is written is clever, funny and I enjoyed viewing the plague from the different viewpoints, especially the zombies. I’m disappointed though as I didn’t enjoy this much as I had hoped.

I know a few people have been enjoying this one so if you are interested please give it a go so you can weigh in with your own opinion!

readbyashleyd's review against another edition

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As soon as I hear the word zombies, I’m pretty much all in. Add in George Romero’s name and I am HERE FOR IT. Do keep in mind when reading this though that, Daniel Kraus finished this book, not Romero. Kraus estimates that about 1/3 of the book was written by Romero, not including notes and other material where Romero plotted out where the book was going. That being said, when I was reading, I didn’t feel like I was reading something that was started by one author and finished by another. Both authors voices are weaved throughout and I really think it was spectacularly done. Now onto the book itself! Act 1 was a bit slow for me, it was a big information dump that was laying out the story to come and it got a bit long at times and that was my only issue with this book, it could have been a lot shorter and snappier! Once we got to Act 2 and 3 though, I was enjoying the HELL out of it. I loved seeing all the characters come together and the connections between all of them popping up. Characters and plot aside though, the zombies truly are the best part of the book. Romero and Kraus created something really unique with the zombies in this book and I don’t want to say too much and spoil it but what they did is just phenomenal! And I couldn’t have read this at a better time, with what’s going on in the world right now with the pandemic and the governments response, the parallels between the book and real life are quite eerie!

thegothiclibrary's review against another edition

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The Living Dead is a massive book, split into three acts of unequal length. The majority of the book is taken up with Act One, which covers the first two weeks of the zombie apocalypse. Jumping around to different points of view, we see Etta Hoffman, the antisocial statistician who documents cases of the dead coming back to life; medical examiner Luis Acocella and his assistant Charlie, who witness the very first revival; Greer, an underprivileged teenager who must team up with strangers to fight her way past undead friends and family; the staff of WWN, a newsroom that continues to broadcast amidst the outbreak; and the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Olympia, who devolve into perverse power structures as the zombies take the ship. In Act Two, we flash through eleven years from the perspective of Hoffman as she collects testimony from survivors across the country through her improvised post-apocalyptic hotline. Act Three covers the attempts of the survivors to build a new society and learn to live alongside their zombie brethren.

See my full review:

vanquishingvolumes's review against another edition

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4 Stars - I Really Liked This Book

As much as I feel like zombies are overplayed, overdone, and worn out - I wasn’t about to turn down the chance to read this book. A horror fan does not say no to the name Romero.

A sprawling epic spanning the length of the zombie outbreak, this story follows several characters on their separate journeys until ultimately ending up in the same community.

While the outcome of the story was predictable, and the enemy of the story was unsurprising, I’m glad I read this. I really enjoyed it.

maricelbearicel's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional funny reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


iwb's review against another edition

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I very much enjoyed this book--I could not put it down. Not your average zombie story (whatever that may be). A empathetic and compassionate story.

samanthapearl's review

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Thank you to Netgalley and Tor Books for a review copy of this book. All thought and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

The Living Dead was started by George A. Romero and then finished by Daniel Kraus after his passing. I'm unsure where George's writing ends and Daniel's begins. The two parts are blended perfectly.

If you've read many of my reviews before then you probably know I am not a fan of slow burns. Sometimes, however, I find one that is so well written and engaging that I just get lost within the story. The Living Dead by George A. Romero and Daniel Kraus is one of the most enjoyable slow burns I've ever read. It did still have an occasional part or two that dragged but overall I really enjoyed it.

This book was everything I needed to give my love of zombies a boost. I am so satisfied with how the whole story played out. I loved the ending. It was just great all around.

So I have to admit zombies are my favorite so I may be a little biased. However, if you're a zombie lover I recommend checking this one out. It's long so it is a bit of a commitment but it's so good!